Daily Leader
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Complete Consideration of H.R. 1119 – Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act (Rep. Rothfus – Energy and Commerce) (One hour of debate).  This bill would undermine the Clean Air Act by allowing existing electric power plants that convert coal refuse into energy to increase their air pollution emissions under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Coal refuse, or waste coal, is the byproduct of mining or other coal processing, and a small number of electric utilities use this material as fuel. The MATS rule, issued in 2012, is one of the most important Clean Air Act rules for protecting public health from mercury and other toxic air pollution.

The bill would modify the MATS rule to allow these waste coal plants to emit more sulfur dioxide and hydrogen chloride. These toxins harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult, especially for children, the elderly, and those who suffer from asthma.  The bill tips the scales of the MATS rule in favor of waste coal units at the expense of other power plants, which will be forced to cut additional pollution in order to achieve pollution reduction levels prescribed by MATS, or risk the health of the surrounding communities.
The prescriptive nature of the bill blocks EPA from ever strengthening MACT standards for waste coal plants, even if future technology could better control their toxic pollution.

The House considered similar legislation in March of 2016.  That vote can be found here.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Bill Text for H.R. 1119:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1119:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
“Some Republicans lawmakers are beginning to ask whether their leaders plan to be ambitious enough with what could be the final months of united GOP control of the government. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) presented a slide at a GOP conference meeting Tuesday that showed an admittedly incomplete but still rather sparse agenda for the coming months… What was more notable about the Republican House agenda was what wasn’t included. There was no major infrastructure legislation. No bill addressing the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals immigration program. No budget. No real legislation on guns. Even the individual appropriations bills weren’t on the list.”

    -     Huffington Post, 3/8/2018